According to statistics, more than 10% of all American children have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD. The condition is described as a pattern of hyperactivation, impulsivity and inattention that can interfere with the proper development of children. Although most experts don’t even agree that the condition exists, the increasing number of cases certainly speaks volumes.
In young children aged 2 to 5, the first line of treatment is behavioral therapy. However, most of the children are put on drugs, and only half of the children aged 4-5 are treated with behavioral therapy. At age 6, doctors recommend a combination of this therapy and pills as well.
Even the ADHD diagnosis is problematic. Many doctors misdiagnose it and stuff the children with unnecessary drugs. The dangers of ADHD drugs are even a bigger problem, as they have been related to loss of focus, insomnia, loss of appetite, irregular heart rhythm and seizures. Luckily, instead of the pills, there’s a simple natural remedy that can help – essential oils.
Essential oils – what are they?
These oils are concentrated versions of aromatic plant extracts that have cosmetic, emotional and spiritual uses. The great Aristotle considered that there’s a fifth physical element called quintessence, which was said to be the spirit of a plant.
Processes such as evaporation and distillation were used to extract the spirit for human use, which is why distilled alcoholic shots are known as spirits. Although we mostly use essential oils for purely cosmetic purposes, they can be used to resolve various health problems as well.
Essential oils may treat ADHD symptoms!
According to Dr. Terry S. Friedman, vetiver oil can help children suffering from ADHD. In one study, children who inhaled vetiver oil 3 times per day for a month experienced significant improvements in their brain wave patterns, and the results were seen in school.
Vetiver is a plant with relaxing properties which can balance your central nervous system and stimulate circulation. As Dr. Friedman explains, when inhaled, molecules from the oil go to the brain’s limbic system, the hypothalamus and the lungs as well.
The improvements were measured with an EEG of the brain, which allowed the scientists to detect if the children’s brain waves are in beta or theta state. There was a significant improvement in the beta-theta ratio in favor of the first, and parents notice improvements in the symptoms as well.
Vetiver oil improves alertness
According to another study, the vetiver oil works by improving the alertness of the children. Over time, this could be beneficial for their learning and memory capacity, and can be a base for a future vetiver-based stimulant used to improve task performance.
Other essential oils vs. ADHD
It’s not all about the vetiver oil – there are many other essential oils which can help in the treatment of ADHD. Rosemary oil is one of the best alternatives, but ylang-ylang, lemon, bergamot, frankincense and eucalyptus oil have also been known to help.
How to use the oils against ADHD?
The best ways to use the oils is either inhalation or topical application. For inhalation, you can add 3-4 drops of the oil in a diffuser and turn it on, or simply let your child breathe in the oil directly from the bottle a few times a day. Steam inhalation also works well.
For topical application, the oils need to be tested first as they may cause irritation on the skin. They should be applied in small amounts on the neck, bottom of the feet, wrists and behind the ears. Some people mix the oils with coconut oil for better application.
There are not many other alternatives for natural ADHD treatments other than treating some underlying factors such as the following:
Lower sugar intake
Sugar has been related to serious diseases and may cause anxiety and panic attacks, so make sure to avoid giving too much of it to your children.
An unhealthy gut
An unhealthy gut can cause a variety of health problems including ADHD, autism and other mental disorder, so boosting your digestive flora is one of the most important steps of resolving the problem. You can do this by introducing probiotic supplements and fermented foods into your child’s diet.
According to one study, gluten sensitivity may be the root of different mental problems. The study showed that a gluten-free diet has been able to improve some of the symptoms of children suffering from ADHD, so you may want to give it a try.
Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency
Lack of omega-3s in the body has been associated with ADHD and behavioral problems, so make sure to add omega-3 supplements in your child’s diet. Krill oil works great – you’ll need to give them 500 mg. of the supplement every day for about 6 months to see improvements.
GMO food and additives
There’s a great number of food additives which can worsen ADHD symptoms, and they’ve been banned in many European countries. Sadly, the situation in the USA is different. According to research, Monsanto’s RoundUp pesticide used on almost all crops contains too much glyphosate which eventually ends up in our food.
The compound has been associated with cognitive decline and mental disorders, so make sure the product your child is eating is 100% organic.